The poll comes as Dignity in Dying Scotland today launch a nationwide advertising campaign ‘Let’s do the Right Thing’ with newspaper and digital ads featuring people who are dying and those who have lost loved ones.
Ally Thomson, Director of Dignity in Dying Scotland, commented:
“It’s clear that assisted dying for terminally ill people has the support of the Scottish public. This latest poll shows that support which was high to begin with is only increasing. Most Scots believe that dying people should not be forced to suffer at the end of life and that there are currently too many bad deaths. Their views cannot be ignored. The law in Scotland needs to change. In a world where people feel there is so much division on some issues in our Parliaments, assisted dying is an issue on which almost everyone agrees.”
“This campaign is all about love and putting the voice of people who have lived and are living through the injustice of the current law at the heart of the debate. All the people featured in the campaign either love life and don’t want to have a bad death or have seen someone they love suffer and don’t wish that to happen to anyone else. They are bravely telling their stories and encouraging other people to have their voices heard on this too. “We’re calling on people to show their support to our decision-makers in Parliament and sign an online official register of support for assisted dying at www.letsdotherightthing.org.”
Liz Wilson, 45, from Cumbernauld features in the campaign. Liz’s husband Craig died a bad death from cancer in December. Liz commented:
“Craig was only 45 when cancer took over his whole body. It was horrific to watch him suffer in the way he did. No amount of palliative care could help him. For Craig, while he was dying a minute was like an hour and a day like a year. He begged to go to Switzerland but it was sadly too late. I loved him so much and did not want him to die but when he did it was a relief as he finally escaped from all the pain and suffering he was experiencing. I don’t believe anyone should have to go through what Craig did. I have promised to campaign to change the law so no one else has to.”
Kay Smith, 54, from Kilwinning also joined the campaign. Kay is terminally ill and wants the choice of assisted death. Kay commented:
“I absolutely love my life but know that my illness means that I will die and most likely of blood poisoning. As a former Palliative Care nurse I know that this would be horrendous for my family to watch. I believe we should have assisted dying here in Scotland so that people like me would have a choice at the end of our lives. I intend to live fully to my last breath and it would let me
live while I am dying – free from the worry of what is to come for me and the trauma it would inflict on my husband and my daughters.”
Dawn Morton, 34 from Dunfermline has Motor neuron disease. She was diagnosed in 2014 and now requires 24 hour ventilation and care. Dawn would like the choice of an assisted death as she doesn’t want her 6 year old daughter Abigail to watch her die badly. Dawn said:
“I couldn’t afford to go to Switzerland and it is important to me to be around as long as possible for my daughter, but I don’t want her to see me die badly and in pain. I wish the choice of assisted dying was available in Scotland so I could decide when the time was right for me. I am asking MSPs to give me and other people like me this choice.”
At the moment one person every eight days is travelling from the UK to Switzerland in order to end their life. Those that can’t afford it, are too unwell to travel or don’t want to have to die early when they are still able to make the journey, often end their own lives in this country, sometimes alone and in traumatic circumstances. Dignity in Dying Scotland is calling on the Scottish Parliament to introduce safe and compassionate laws that would allow terminally ill, mentally competent adults the choice of an assisted death.
Notes to Editors
Filmed case studies can be found on You Tube.
For further information, contact:
Fergus Reid/Hannah Fisher
T: 0141 222 2040
M: 07971 583 535
Dignity in Dying campaigns for greater choice, control and access to services at the end of life. It advocates providing terminally ill adults with the option of an assisted death, within strict legal
safeguards, and for universal access to high quality end-of-life care.
Photocall and broadcast opportunity
When: Tuesday 2 April, 10:30
Where: Hutton Rd, next to Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, Edinburgh, EH8 8AU
Ally Thomson, Director of Dignity in Dying Scotland will be joined by two supporters of the campaign each of whom has either witnessed a family member experience a bad death or are facing terminal illness. Their stories are featured on a campaign advan which will be available on the day.
Available for interview:
Ally Thomson, Director of Dignity in Dying Scotland
Liz Wilson, 45, from Cumbernauld. Liz’s husband Craig died a bad death from cancer in December.
Kay Smith, 54, from Kilwinning. Kay is terminally ill and wants the choice of assisted death.
Campaign adverts of:
Dawn Morton, Pearl Cameron and Kirin Saeed will also be available.
A survey of 1057 adults in Scotland was conducted by Populus between 11th and 24th March 2019. A full breakdown of the polling available upon request
If you would like a copy of the polling tables before release please contact Fergus Reid on 07971 583535 or Ally Thomson on 07766112463